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Prior looks ahead as surgery date set

George Dobell
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Matt Prior says it will be a 'long road back' to England action © Getty Images
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Matt Prior will have surgery early next month to try and overcome the Achilles problem which forced him to take a break from the game but admitted he has "a long road back."

Prior, a veteran of 79 Tests, announced his decision to stand down for the rest of the season following the second Test against India at Lord's as he bids to regain his fitness. He will undergo surgery on his Achilles tendon on September 4 and hopes to return to the game at the start of the 2015 English season.

"It was pretty bad, to be honest," Prior told ESPN. "I went as long and as hard as I could, but I couldn't go any further. I still hurt. I've seen the specialist and surgeons and I'm having an operation on September 4.

"It's not the end, but there is a long road back and it starts from September 4 with four months of rehab to get as fit as I possibly can.

"It was a massive decision, but I went as long as I could. It's been shown by specialists that I couldn't physically have gone on any longer. So it's not time to get it right, get fit again and come back stronger."

Despite his personal disappointment, Prior welcomed the bright start made by his successor as England's Test keeper, Jos Buttler.

"I think he's done brilliantly," Prior said. "The one thing he has done that is massive for keepers is scoring runs. When you're scoring runs it takes pressure off your wicketkeeping. It allows you to just play and feel relaxed. And when you're relaxed you keep a lot better. Jos has done brilliantly and good luck to him.

"It's a bit strange being at the Test and [just] watching. It's the first time in many years. But I gave it everything. I was very proud of everything I've done for England as Test wicketkeeper for however many years. But Jos has come in and done very well. "

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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